In the previous posts, I talked about how to move people in 22C cities: on foot, on car or public transit. However, aside from carrying people, another important purpose of transportation is carrying cargoes.
22C urban planning demand a separate network for shipping goods to enable hyper-efficient online shopping. It allows anything, including grocery, to be purchased online and arrive within 30 minutes (not necessarily arrive at the same time). Predictive shipping is an idea first formulated by Amazon to make more people buy stuff online by speeding up shipping, and predictive shipping is the foundation of 22C online shopping, made more efficient by the dedicated infrastructure.
In 19C and 20C, pneumatic tubes are used to deliver mail quickly. In 22C, the pneumatic tubes became upscaled into technologies for public transit and cargo delivery. Of course, people and cargoes are too heavy to be propelled by compressed air and the transportation systems are not tube-shaped. Forget about how pneumatic tubes work and focus on what they are designed to do.
The hidden infrastructure of cargoes is independent from, but similar to the network of roads for transporting people. The technologies to transport people like trains and elevators are fair game for cargoes. However, the form factors of the cargoes enables efficient methods of transportation: Unlike people, cargoes can be crammed into tight space, and there is no need for environmental control for most cargoes. The distributors are sources of cargoes and the delivery network reach into buildings through elevators (elevators dedicated to cargoes, of course), and end up in individual apartments.
Like parking lots for cars, cargoes can be stored in hubs around the city, but 22C people do not call them warehouses because retrieving a cargo is does not require human intervention. The warehouses are designed to reduce congestion of cargo traffic or to predictively ship goods people want to buy.
Predictively shipped items do not stay in a hub forever: They might be "evicted" from a hub in order to make rooms for other cargoes, moving to another hub, or making a round trip back to it. The energy waste for roundtrips is relatively small since the difference between carrying 6 and carrying 7 items on a train is negligible.
The predictive shipping system exploit another fact to increase speed and save energy: Not everyone need their stuff immediately. For example, most people need their grocery by 6 hours, and the average delivery time 20 minutes is more than fast. However, if someone needs something immediately (to satisfy hunger or thirst or cure injury, but they are contrived examples in 22C), it's possible to pay more for faster delivery and specify exactly how fast.
Brick-and-mortar stores still exist in 22C cities: Some things are meant to be tried in person, like fashion and cars. 22C physical stores, in order to compete with online shopping, must set up museum-like experiences to allow the potential customers interact with the items in person.
Up next: Transportation Hierarchy
22C urban planning and transportation is designed under the theory of transportation hierarchy. The theory of transportation hierarchy is inspired by memory hierarchy in computer architecture. Transportation hierarchy tells about efficient ways to transport people and goods, and it applicable in all scales: From driving to school to organizing an FTL-enabled galactic civilization. See also: If all stories were written like science fiction stories (web.archive.org/web/2009121609…
. Notice the role of cars.